Involved parents who are going through a divorce or recovering after a messy break up often worry about their relationships with their children. Sometimes, one parent intentionally tries to interfere in the rights that the other has or destabilize their relationship with their children.
In most Texas custody cases, judges want what is best for the children. They may try their best to keep both adults involved by granting them both an appropriate amount of parenting time. However, not every parent subject to a custody order enthusiastically complies.
Some parents try to deny each other time with the children or go so far as to manipulate the relationship between the children and the other parent. How can a Texas parent worried about parental alienation protect their bond with their children?
By recognizing alienation early
The sooner a parent recognizes an attempt at parental alienation, the better their chances of minimizing the damage that the other parent causes. Parental alienation involves one parent’s intentionally interfering in the relationship that the other has with the children.
Such efforts might include denying it someone’s scheduled parenting time or shortening their sessions with the children. One parent might make a point of always planning play dates and important appointments during the other’s parenting time as a way to deny the other time with the children. They might also turn someone away by claiming the children don’t feel well or don’t want to go that day.
Other times, parental alienation may involve one parent talking negatively about the other to the child. One parent asked surprising questions are told disturbing details by their children may need to take notes about what the children have heard. They may also need to keep records of shortened or canceled parenting sessions.
By taking the matter back to court
The courts disapprove of alienation. Texas custody laws very clearly require that parents communicate with one another and attempt to cooperate in the best interest of their children. If one parent fails to communicate with the other or uphold the current custody order, the parent experiencing the alienation could go to the courts to enforce their custody order. They could also ask to modify the order in light of the misconduct of their co-parent.
Any parent hoping to make a significant change to their custody arrangements needs evidence of the circumstances that motivated their request and also documentation supporting their claim that change or enforcement efforts should be in the best interest of the children. Many parents fail to assert themselves and may then struggle to repair the relationship they have with their children after experiencing parental alienation.
Being proactive when a co-parent won’t abide by a custody arrangement, which may involve seeking legal guidance, may help a parent resolve a frustrating situation that negatively impacts their parental rights.